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Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

travelblog final copy.jpgMy alarm goes off at 4:30 am. My hand slaps towards my phone as if it is an actual clock, finally managing to silence it, if only momentarily. As a precaution I have set an alarm at 4:25, 4:35 and 4:40 lest my body goes on strike and I miss my flight (which has happened). I hate my life in those early moments of the morning, the sky is still dark and the city (whichever city it is I’m in) is still sleeping.

I’m dazed for the first few moments of whatever musical interlude I’ve chosen to jolt me out of my REM cycles and then all of a sudden my body is almost excessively alert. I sit up straight and especially of late, have a few moments of not remembering where I am.

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Haci Abdullah, Istanbul

Haci Abdullah

It is our second night in Istanbul, and we have just finished surveying the Grand Bazaar. When we are done, Aditi and I sit on a bench to plan dinner. It is dark, and we are eager to get back to our side of Istanbul. We make a plan to go to the Golden Horn, but upon asking directions get diverse and often contradicting instructions.

It is a 30 minute walk, which we decide against, our feet tired and blistered from a day of sightseeing and walking around the Grand Bazaar. We get to the tram station, which is packed with people, and are not able to get on. It appears the King Streetcar phenomenon of waiting for six to pass before you’re able to get on, has also reached Istanbul.

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IMG_1678Aditi and I booked window seats one in front of the other for our trip to Turkey, via Abu Dhabi.  I am seated in 32K, and Aditi has the window seat behind me. However, when we get there, there is already a man sitting in her seat. He looks confused, as he doesn’t appear to know that not only is he in the wrong row, he is in the window seat instead of the aisle. He is meant to be in my row instead.

He moves over as I am struggling to settle and says “good morning” with great gusto. I am leery of over friendly people on flights. I have one of those faces that invite unsolicited conversation from people who have no social skills, self-awareness, or sense of personal boundaries.

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The Road to Nong Khiaw

IMG_9425  On the morning of my trip from Luang Prabang to Nong Khiaw, I am running late, and in my haste to order breakfast, I do not think to specify that I want my egg hardboiled instead of soft.

I do not think to question why the server hands me a tiny spoon, or why my breakfast arrives in eggcups, if anything, thinking it a tad bit quaint. By the time I realize the truth it is too late, and the shell is peeled in a way that renders it impossible to eat without making a giant sticky mess. (more…)

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photo-1As I leave my last Jaipur Literature Festival event, I get a frantic phone call from my friend Shampa. We had come to the city together, along with her family and had split for the morning to pursue our respective interests. She tells me they are stuck in traffic and cannot come get me on the way back to Delhi.  (more…)

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